tv Headline News RT December 27, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EST
coming up on our t.v. year twenty thirteen nears its end it was quite a year for news from boston bombings n.s.a. revelations part he was there covering it all special roundtable on the year's greatest news hits just ahead. the capital of lebanon is rock by a massive explosion the target of the car bombing was the former lebanese ambassador to the u.s. one of numerous attacks that have hit the nation the latest on that coming up. a new york federal judge rules abuses bulk collection of phone records is legal it's really runs counter to last week's ruling by a federal judge in d.c. who found the program to be likely unconstitutional the latest update on that and more later in the show.
it's friday december twenty seventh five pm in washington d.c. i'm sam sax and you're watching our t.v. and we begin today with a look back twenty thirteen winds down we close the book on the year with some really big news stories it was the year of whistleblowers and essay secrets there is how washington post reporter barton gellman who was in possession of the snowden documents described the impact of the story on whistleblowers this year. i've seldom if ever seen a story that has taken hold. you know so far and so broadly and so deeply and you know if you're a whistleblower who wants attention and. you can't even plausibly aspire to the impact he's had already this was also a year of violent explosions both from home grown terrorism in boston and corporate disregard in west texas it was here government dysfunction and the year in which
average people around the world took to the streets to protest against the status quo actions against the transpacific partnership trade deal and a new community of activists rising up on behalf of chelsea manning who learned her fate this year for exposing u.s. war crimes so earlier i spoke with the very people who brought you these stories are tea correspondents alist wall on a saucy turkey to an ramon glinda oh and i first asked liz wahl about her coverage of the chelsea manning trial i want to know what she learned from this story and the impact the trial had on two thousand and thirteen. certainly it was a year of very high profile leaks namely the court martial of chelsea manning formerly known as bradley manning spent a lot of time there covering the trial in fort meade maryland of course he is accused of the largest leak of classified information in military history charged with a very serious charge of aiding the enemy in addition to a slew of other charges and the judge found him not guilty of that most
serious charge of aiding the enemy but guilty on most of the other charges he was sentenced to thirty five years behind bars of course manning a divisive figure some people handling him as a hero for shining a light on government wrongdoing others calling him a traitor for exposing government secrets throughout this trial his attorney david coombs tried to keep it under the radar but did make a very public statement after that sentence was delivered in august here's what he had to say while we were successful in avoiding the aiding the enemy offense. the fact that the government pursued this offense. the fact that the government. let the suspense go forward even after it was clear there was no evidence of any intent to do so should sound an alarm to every journalists it should sound the alarm to every concerned citizen. that was manning's attorney there david who is
arguing or kind of condemning the government for its so going so aggressively after manning and charging him over of charging him he says especially when it comes to this aiding the enemy charge and he says and what a lot of civil rights activists have argued throughout this case is that it has had this chilling effect on the media they do also chelsea manning is the only whistleblowers having to jail john kiriakou was sentenced to jail years the cia whistleblower we've been talking a lot of the notable whistleblowers of this year in studio. kiriakou story out of his story for jobs where it was actually around this time last year that he was sitting in this studio i interviewed him right before he was about to go to jail as you had mentioned he's a former cia officer and he is also charged with leaking information to the media interesting thing about kerry aku before that happened he was also the first cia officer to publicly expose that torture does go on on u.s.
bases at guantanamo bay and he brought specific attention to waterboarding saying that this practice happens at guantanamo bay and he was he called it torture and he used those words now here is part of my conversation with him right before he went to prison. the bush administration more specifically president bush at the time was lying to the american people by saying that we were not waterboarding prisoners we were not torturing anyone and if anyone was being tortured it was a result of rogue officers inside the cia i want to see i want to bring you in as a result of what whistleblowers have done particularly chelsea manning in recent years wiki leaks has been able to bring to light some of the nation's darkest secrets about the iraq war and war in particular the detention facility in guantanamo bay. with the summer's hunger strike you were gone tony mowbray on the stuff you gave us several reports from there what's going on down there this year.
well us and what's going on down there this year is pretty much what has been going on for since day one of obama's presidency when he promised to shut this place down which has become really a permanent state on america's image and you know what home and abroad and what went down there with this major hunger strike that took place earlier this year where for over six months the majority of the prison population was on hunger strike in attempts to bring some kind of attention to the fact that they are still there because people just stopped talking about this location politicians kind of brushed it aside after obama's promises to kind of put an end to this place so we saw this kind of peak of desperation from the majority of the prison population over one hundred people going on this major hunger strike which so many times we've heard described as just a horrific process and when we were there the way officials talked to us about it
was a lot more nonchalant take a listen. before it's passed on the news we lubricate it in we give the patient a choice do they want to have the key which is the agent who will numb the area or if they want of will to lubricate the tube. most of our patients have been using all of the will you seem to like it in fact some of our patients are so used to this they will describe which nostril they want . so sam and guys you know one of the major things we saw ad one time of this year was that this is this huge disconnect between the way officials describe this place and presented to the media and by the countless reports of desperation torture and just horrid conditions and hopelessness that we've heard from prisoners throughout the years on associate whistleblowers hunger strikers i didn't receive a lot of attention from mainstream networks but the boston marathon bombing was
wall to wall coverage there was a huge story this year you were in boston right after the bombing and what it is being a wild few days in that city with the manhunt for the bombers to shoot out of the eventual capture of shores or najaf what was it like. well you know sam this was the biggest terror act in the united states since nine eleven and certainly to say the least was absolutely tragic and of course tragic and of course unexpected and i think one of the bigger things that people learned from it was that. this sense of security that we've kind of become accustomed to sort of in the united states this pretense sometimes sense of security because of the measures that are put in place all over the country that kind of tell us that a lot of being is being done to make sure these terrible things don't happen this bombing showed people i think this year that. nothing it is as secure and safe as it feels in this day and age and certainly was just
a very tragic sad event and the city of boston has certainly recovered but when we were there for about ten days it was really just just really sad and everybody was able to kind of communicate because again terrorism is you know something that is not that happens in a particular nation and something that unfortunately is plaguing the entire world. i want to bring you in a few days after the boston marathon bombings there was the explosion at the fertilizer plant in west texas killed fifteen people injured more than two hundred you were there would you see on the ground in west texas in those days afterward. this reporting that we did in west texas it was some of the most physically demanding and emotionally demanding that i've done in my career i mean it was a scene of utter destruction and despair when we originally when we initially arrived there in west texas we heard from the mayor of that tiny town tommy muska and he described the explosion as having a nuclear bomb being dropped on his town the night of the blast when we arrived we
arrived only a couple of hours after it happened and we were kept a little distance away from the fertilizer plant it was still on fire but even miles away you could see blown out windows buildings badly damaged and was the fire was put out and we were able to get a little bit closer to to where the blast originated from we could if it was just a crater more than ninety feet wide we could see schools which were completely destroyed fire trucks. mess playgrounds just reduced to rubble and all the while talking to the people of these town which is has a population of about three thousand people so everybody knows there everybody knows each other there are a lot of people knew the victims and they talked to us in the aftermath let's hear from them. the windows were blown in on where i was at in the room my kids. saw i don't we don't know the extent of the damage just the house lifted
up and. i grabbed my kids and we're headed out the door of the hallway and the room and some explosion and the windows blew in and everything we fell to the floor and we waited until it stopped. got up and i got my other daughter and my mom that was in the room with my stepdad and we ran outside the house to smell like gas. yeah and a lot of people still in mourning some people still even in rentals other people are in the process of rebuilding for but for a lot of those people living in that tiny town to two thousand and thirteen was unfortunately a year to forget for them a very rough one ramon i want to switch gears here this is also been a year filled with protesters like the last few years have been and if you few issues generated as much popular revolt as the trans-pacific partnership trade deal being negotiated throughout the year you covered many of these protests in california what impact have they made. that's why we've covered protests t.v.
protests here in beverly hills los angeles and even up and utah and there has been a lot of grassroots efforts to put these this trade negotiation on hold and so far it appears to be successful because we're not just seeing opposition at the grassroots level many people in congress are are really concerned about the obama administration's goals to move the t.v. p. forward and to really fast track it to congress we have to remember that the obama administration really wanted to have this deal which encompasses twelve nations done by the end of this year but it appears that the you know people of the negotiators from all the countries involved have been able to come up with something that they all can agree on so in two thousand and fourteen you can expect to see more protests against the p.p.p. and many people in d.c. really questioning whether this is in the best interests of the united states and
the other countries involved just one of many big stories this year brought to us by great correspondents covering them r t correspondent liz wahl in our d.c. studio on a saucer turkana from new york ramon going to from l.a. thank you all. now let's take a look back at some of the most viral clips from r.t. america's you tube channel over the past year. for the constitution is a deep rooted grass roots campaign independent truck drivers and they words they are quote leaving a convoy to deliver their truck or demands and their left hand and the us constitution and non-negotiable rights and their rights here they took off this morning to the interstate surrounding d.c. to bring attention to their cause by backing up traffic when they saw the google street view car coming the day after the pair pulled over and jumped out of a car beverage in hand and well have.
been gerhart speaking out now against the t.s.a. after agents snapped his rare cello in to the cello was a one of a kind heinrich punk prosecutors were looking for a lengthy jail after sixteen year old ethan couch got behind the wheel of a pickup truck with a point to poor blood alcohol level three times the legal limit in value in his bloodstream and hit for pedestrians killing them including her mother and her daughter but instead couch got probation because his lawyer basically argued that couch was suffering from flu winds up i spoke to a member of the secret service i asked him why the exits the carriage he said that
this is in response to the tragedy that happened today in boston and even just walking around the city you can get a sense i saw members of the law enforcement. dogs so clearly a heightened sense of security here in this industry. it is very much for banning guns and having a position that is anti-gun and i think that they do this because it's a knee jerk reaction to having to deal with the reality that this is a very violent society inside america and that even banning guns is not going to end that violence not a lever not where the bombing today rocked that nation's capital in beirut several people were killed including a prominent diplomatic posts lawyer has this report. when a massive car bomb explosion has rocked central beirut and it has killed the former lebanese economy minister mohammed now he was a close aide of the former lebanese prime minister the blast shook the capital same
to which is only a few meters away from the parliament buildings as well as government headquarters and a number of five star hotels the people in the vicinity caught fire and live footage shows them screaming and why the campaign there were also a cause that was safe a blaze thick smoke covered the entire area and the explosion also set fires blazing at several different points it is understood that the target of the attack was the convoy of such who is also a member of the future of newsman was a former lebanese ambassador to the united states almost immediately and insists rushed to the scene troops have been deployed nearby and we are of the understanding that security forces in lebanon have been on a state of high load for at least ten days now beirut has been hit by several daily attacks over the past few months as tensions rise there was back in november the twin suicide bombings those happening near the iranian embassy and then over the
summer there was a number of bombings in the heart of his bill a stronghold in south beirut that was actually correspondent post where. strikes back today a federal judge in new york ruled that there is bulk phone records collection program does not violate the law and that it serves as an effective counter punch to al qaeda those are the words of u.s. district judge william pauley as he dismissed a lawsuit brought by the a.c.l.u. back in june following the edward snowden disclosure that millions of arising customers in the united states were having their phone data collected and stored by the government seal you argued such collection violated the individual's fourth amendment right to privacy and their first. amendment right to free association but in the fifty four page decision judge polley argued the n.s.a.'s bulk collection program is not being used in a way that violated the constitutional rights of average law abiding americans he notes there is no evidence that the government has used any of the bulk telephony
metadata collected for any purpose other than investigating and disrupting terrorist attacks this ruling comes less than two weeks after a federal judge in washington d.c. came to a much different conclusion about the n.s.a.'s bulk phone records collection program there judge richard leon ruled the program to be likely unconstitutional arguing i cannot imagine a more indiscriminate an arbitrary invasion and the systematic and high tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval and with this latest ruling it looks more and more likely the supreme court will be the final arbiter when it comes to the n.s.a.'s spying programs. or more companies are offering us a way to get off this earth and towards the stars as the space torm industry begins to take off almost companies will soon offer you a ride to the stars via rocket one company is taking it back to the basics lifting
people up to the stars and none other than a balloon artie's a mere david brings this stellar or should i say interstellar report. it's a voyage of voyages a journey that harken back to the movie classics around the world in eighty days starting in two thousand and sixteen one company will send passengers ninety miles high right to the edge of space and it will offer this service not on a rocket but rather on a helium filled balloon the arizona based company called worldview enterprises has plans to attach a balloon to a pressurized capsule that can hold up to six passengers and two crew members after lifting off the balloon would take approximately an hour and a half to reach a height of one hundred thousand feet and that's just high enough to see the curvature of earth. so how is it possible to take a balloon like this all the way up to space like came down to nasa and ballooning
laboratory and wallops island virginia to find out this is where the magic happened nasa is one and only ballooning workshop it's home to a number of engineers and researchers whose sole focus is to make discoveries by sending scientific instruments up to the edge of space and bag blue flies are actually the oldest form of white and the physics are actually very simple. you have buoyancy in the balloon that lifts you up to a particular altitude and then you watch believe it or not the concept is just that simple on the ground the balloon is filled with a very small amount of helium and as a balloon ascends into the atmosphere the helium expands to volumes of up to forty million cubic feet and while they are sturdy enough to carry up to eight thousand pounds nasa has no intention of taking balloon manned missions any time soon. but that hasn't stopped private companies from chartering their own manned missions
just last year red bull sponsored daredevil felix baumgartner who jumped to earth from a helium balloon setting the record for a parachute jump from. highest altitude and outside of balloon flights companies like virgin galactic and space x. will soon be offering commercial trips to outer space by rocket these private escapades are all part of a flourishing industry that's taken root in the last decade called space tourism and fact in the next ten years the f.a.a. says this industry will be worth one billion dollars. that's a large growth considering it was just in two thousand and one the dennis tito an american engineer and multimillionaire became the very first space tourist it seemed very kind of cavalier at the time and i think you know how a track record has proven that even the wildest craziest ideas can become a reality that's tom shelley the president of the company responsible for making that on president admission happen we arrange for very successful very wealthy
individuals to be to fly into space and we will look to continue to do that but we're very much looking forward to a lower priced experience being available but lower prices in the industry don't exactly translate to a low price overall take a ride via rocket and you're looking at a price tag of two hundred fifty thousand dollars while a balloon ride is a bit more cost effective at seventy five thousand well it might not seem like a competitive market just yet the choices for private space flight are growing by the day more and more companies are beginning to privatized some of the oldest technologies creating an opportunity for ordinary people to pay their way up to space in washington and new york david are. now some of you may have had the experience of buying a pregnancy test and finding out that you're going to have a baby the question is what do you do with the years pregnancy test after work well
you're probably just throw it away right actually some people sell them or to spare and gloria has this story. are you in a hurry to get married what would you do to get your boyfriend to pop the question some desperate people have turned to faking a pregnancy in the past but now there's a modern twist turns out women are selling positive pregnancy test on craigslist and people are actually buying them and a quick search on craigslist in d.c. we found several ads want to play a joke on a spouse x. our family member this is the perfect way to do it i'm seven months pregnant and i'm willing to give you a positive pregnancy test for a low fee of thirty dollars or the your it is. never know if you will go as far as to providing a test himself in this is the ad i responded to when i met the woman selling her p. she provided me with this positive pregnancy test earlier i spoke to comedian alex burnett and asked him if he thinks men could fall for this i think you should never
underestimate people's stupidity. i think people can often be very very stupid or or full of you know. naivete so i took to the stories to see if we could find anyone who has actually fallen for this scam so as you do if your girlfriend faked her pregnancy. i'd probably break up with her one of you didn't know it was fake if she provided a real positive pregnancy test that was of her. i was sure and get my money back and i break up with her and then hook up with her sister i'm speechless. i've actually had this experience before it's very upsetting that doesn't sound too positive. i don't i don't know about that yeah i think that's kind of messed up. could be a funny prank i mean if you got a good video of it so i don't think they should be doing this i think morally. this this isn't a good joke this is a poor taste in a joke ever your girlfriend shows you
a pregnancy test you think you would fall for the same approach. you have probably . but there are some people who aren't pleased with this emerging market the woman selling the positive p. said that she got an e-mail from an angry citizen think she was a horrible person for doing that it's ok if people want to sell a pregnancy test or say two scores or diplomas from harvard and someone else will buy it you know hey that's the american way right we all will buy and sell anything as long as there's a market for it i think it's fantastic and i don't i don't begrudge her at all new reports show that raising a child can cost more than two hundred forty one thousand dollars so the extra cash could provide new families with the question they need to start saving but here's some advice if you see a positive pregnancy test always get a doctor's opinion and washington d.c. i'm perry and boring artie. and finally a major shift this year the united states is now the top producer of oil and
natural gas says thanks in large part to the increase of fracking but as a practice continues to grow more and more people are saying not in my backyard residence laurie harshness drills home the point. the. u.s. has a history of keeping industrial activity out of middle class and upper class backyards because we like our products we just don't want to see the dirty truth about how they get made it but that's starting to change with our big oil boom the u.s. is experiencing an energy revolution and is on its way to energy independence thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling but we're also starting to see the dirty truth
behind our energy addiction and we don't like it so much because all of that oil boom drilling is starting to happen right in our well manicured backyards and that having some seriously crappy effects a new report found that shale gas drilling within a kilometer of a home can seriously decrease property value because not only is it ugly it can seriously mess up your water supply with cancer causing chemicals as a result millions of american homes have lost a ton of market value and the owners are very upset about it what's more in areas around new drilling sites crime rates are going up and bothersome traffic is increasing and there are numerous reports of headaches and nosebleeds near drily there's constant noise and per base of chemical smells who was that in their backyard perhaps most surprising though is that although areas where drilling
occurs see an initial rise in income we research shows that that tapers off pretty quickly eventually those areas end up much worse over the long term. partly because these areas become too dependent on a single industry that tends to bust and partly because no one wants to live near these unsightly drilling so americans want the cookie cutter green back yards and the mcmansion filled with all those light and tech gadgets and big screen t.v.'s we just don't want to see the dirty truth about how we power all those things but thanks to our oil boom drilling is no longer something we're doing in some remote wilderness or in the middle east a big target for lots of americans drilling is something we're doing right in our own backyard and it ain't so pretty and i for one think this is a very good thing we all should have a front row seat to the damage we're doing with our continued addiction to fossil
fuels because it's dirty and scary and it's probably not going to end well for us better to see that dirty truth now hopefully before it's too late to do anything about it and all of our backyards turn into graveyards tonight let's talk about that by following me on twitter at the residence. that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash archie american check out our web site r t v dot com slash usa you can follow me on twitter. she later. did you know the price is the only industry specifically mentioned in the constitution and. that's because
a free and open press is critical to our democracy albus. role. in fact the single biggest threat facing our nation today is the corporate takeover of our government and across several we've been a hydrogen why a handful of transnational corporations that will profit by destroying what our founding fathers once built up my job market and on this show we reveal the big picture of what's actually going on in the world we go beyond identifying the problem trying to fix rational debate in a real discussion critical issues facing america by bill ready to join the movement then welcome to the big picture. this is st interesting. strategic vision between china russia. and undercover team of journalists trying to release which leads dog.